Soffit is the exterior cornice material that is installed along your roof's eaves. Fascia is the trim material that is installed along the roof edge, between the soffit and the roofing material. Replacing damaged or worn soffit and fascia is a common home repair that is easily done by the homeowner. Both can be damaged by weather or pests and are typically made from wood, hardboard or cement siding. Choosing to replace the soffit with a newer, vented type of soffit material can help reduce energy costs by ventilating the home's attic. Fascia creates a finished look to the home's roof line.
Drill a three-inch hole in the underside of each soffit that you wish to replace using the hole saw drill bit and drill. With your gloved hand, reach into the hole and pull the damaged soffit loose from the structure. Tap the damaged fascia with a hammer to loosen it from the exposed rafters. After all the soffit and fascia are removed, use a claw hammer to remove any remaining nails.
Holding the first piece of new soffit flush with the wall and edge of the exposed rafters, nail into place with exterior grade nails. If you are using vented soffit, position the holes on the outermost edge, closest to the fascia.
Cut the vinyl H-mould with a utility knife, to the width of the soffit. Slide the H-mould onto the edge of the soffit perpendicular to the house. Slide the next piece of soffit into the opposite side of the h-mould until it is flush with the side of the house and edge of exposed rafters. Nail into the bottom edges of the rafters. Repeat this step until all soffit is in place. If a full size piece of soffit will not fit, use the circular saw to cut it to the appropriate length.
Slide the new fascia into place along the exposed rafter edges behind the drip edge, covering the newly placed soffit edge. Nail into the rafter edges. Make sure to butt the end of the next piece of fascia flush with the previous. Repeat this step until all fascia is in place. If a full-size piece of fascia will not fit, use the circular saw to cut to the appropriate length.
Insert the painter’s caulk tube into the caulk gun with the end of the tube pointed away from the trigger. Cut the tip of the tube of caulk at an angle with the utility knife. Insert a nail into the tube of caulk to break the internal seal. Caulk all nail holes and fascia butt joints. Run a bead of caulk along the joint between the soffit and the exterior wall and the soffit and fascia. Smooth out all beads of caulk using your index finger. Allow to cure based on the caulk’s instructions.
Apply a primer coat if the new soffit and fascia were not preprimed. Paint the soffit and fascia to the desired colour.
Using an air compressor and nail gun to nail soffit and fascia into place will make installation simpler.
Always wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from debris. If you are using cement soffit and fascia, use an approved cement siding blade on your saw. Also wear a dust mask and safety glasses to protect you from the dust.